Privatisation of the human right to water

As a result of the “Washington Consensus”, the alleged objective of which was to establish development-boosting economic policies in the 90s, many Latin American countries have found themselves landed with unpayable loans that have forced them to privatise their natural resources and place them in the hands of North-American and European multinationals. This was the logic that triggered Bolivia’s so-called “Water War” in 2000.

The way water is considered has changed throughout history, since Roman law considered it to be a common good, neither public nor private, but a heritage and property shared by all society, until finally its access was recognised as a human right due to its importance for basic survival.

As stipulated in the seventh of the eight Millennium Development Goals agreed to by the greatest concentration of heads of state in history at the UN Millennium Summit of 2000, the undertaking is, by 2015, to reduce by half the proportion of people with no sustainable access to basic sanitation. However, now, when the International Decade for Action ‘Water for Life’ 2005-15 is underway, the reality, according to figures published by the WHO, is that 80% of all diseases in poor countries are caused by an insufficient supply of clean water and appropriate treatment. Every year 1.6 million people, particularly kids, die because of this shortage.

Film: Even the Rain (También la lluvia)

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